A non-governmental organisation on Friday claimed to have saved a three-month-old baby from her “suicidal” mother in Badar Commercial Area of the city.
According to the NGO officials, when they reached her flat, three-month-old Fatima Kanwal had been without any food for four days. “Her face was pale. She looked like a living, breathing skeleton,” said one of the workers who first saw her.Fatima had been living with her single mother Quratulain Naqvi, 26, at the Mansura Apartments for the last few months.
Then, on Tuesday, Quratulain locked herself into her apartment along with her daughter in a suicide attempt, said an official of the Sahara Village, the welfare organization that rescued the mother and her daughter.
“The mother has serious psychological problems,” said Akber Ali Rana, founder of the Sahara Village, a care centre for the old and special people. Rana had received a tip-off from a resident of the apartment complex, who said that Quratulain had been locked in her apartment with her child for the last four days.
“We reached the place in the evening and knocked the door, pretending to be officials of the electricity department,” Rana explained.
“As Quratulain opened the door, the first thing that struck us was how messy the house was. There was no electricity; it had been disconnected due to the non-payment of bills,” he recalled. “We could hear the sound of a child’s moaning coming from the bedroom, so we asked (Quratulain) if we could see what was happening,” said Akber. He said that after some initial reluctance, she agreed to let them into the bedroom.
“What I witnessed there was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever seen. The child was wrapped in a filthy nappy; there were mosquito bites all over her body.” When they asked the mother why she had not been giving her baby anything to eat, she responded: “My baby is being fed by angels. God sent her, so He will take care of her. I don’t need food, because I don’t want to live,” Quratulian said.
However, police have taken serious notice of the NGO’s actions. They claim that no ‘private party’ has the right to keep custody of a person without the consent of the relevant department, and that the mother and her child should be handed over to the police.
But Rana believes that it was his duty to save the child and her ‘mentally-disabled’ mother.Though Rana claimed that Quratulain and her daughter were present at the centre, upon further questioning Rana confessed that the mother had left the centre, but the child was still in his custody.